LandSec reports £58m of lettings

Michael Hunt

Specialist retail developer Land Securities said it has completed £58m of lettings during the financial year.

LandSec announced in its annual results, covering the twelve months between March last year and March 2010, it is focused on leasing and delivering occupier-led developments to drive growth in capital values.

The UK's largest listed property company let a 26,000 sq ft store at Clayton Square in Liverpool city centre, formerly occupied by Zavvi, to Clas Ohlson in December after the Swedish retailer agreed on a ten year lease.

LandSec, which also owns St John's centre in Liverpool, said revenue profit was down 20% from £314.9m in 2009 to £251.8m in 2010, and net debt had been reduced by £660m from £3.9bn last year to £3.2bn this year.

LandSec said its net asset value increased 17.4% to 750p a share in the twelve months to 31 March.

As previously mentioned in its half-year results last November, the company is continuing its developments in the West End of London.

The revamp of St John's centre in Liverpool was put on hold for three years at the end of 2008. There was no further announcement on its joint venture with ING Real Estate and the £300m Northgate shopping centre in Chester.

Francis Salway, chief executive, said: "During the year we stood back and tested our strategy. The review reaffirmed our confidence in the opportunities we see in the two largest segments of the UK commercial property market, London offices and retail.

"We have an unrivalled pipeline of potential projects in our London Portfolio, with over 110,000 sq m of developments already underway and up to a further 400,000 sq m of development and refurbishment opportunities. In retail we have plans aligned to the ongoing evolution in the sector and, through a focus on leasing and delivering occupier led developments, we will drive growth in capital values.

"We maintain our view that property values will rise over the next five years but, with the likelihood of volatility in consumer spending and business investment, the path may not always be smooth. We see any ripples in the trajectory as being likely to offer attractive buying opportunities. We believe strongly that, in our balance sheet, the skills of our people and our plans for our portfolio, we have the platform to create long-term value for our shareholders."

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